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Have You Thought About Using Twitter for Your Local Business Marketing Strategy?

Social Media Marketing is the explosive new technique that Local Businesses have been flocking to as of late. Why? Well, Social Media platforms, like Twitter, are one of the quickest ways to get your business in front of droves of people within seconds. However, many Local Businesses are finding that, to use Twitter effectively, you have to learn the ins and outs. Obviously, there are several different strategies that you might attempt, but not all of them are going to be effective.

What’s the Trick?

You really have to put yourself into the mind of the online user when you attempt marketing with Twitter. Twitter hasn’t changed and there’s no new way to use it. So, being the great big conference room that it’s always been, you have to think back to your public speaking class because, essentially, you are on the platform here. You are there to enlighten, encourage, and empower your followers. Yes, you might converse with a few of them afterwards. Those are your actual listeners. Not everyone is going to listen to what you have to say, but those that do might tell others. This is social networking.

Love is a big part of Social Media Marketing and it is also a very powerful emotion that we, as humans, experience. It’s unconditional, right? Well, not if you expect something in return. Therefore, if you really want your followers to love you, you have to focus on giving. If your followers truly love you, they will eventually give back.

So, what can you give? Things to consider might be information about changes in your industry, job opportunities, in depth studies, or other interesting pieces of information. Think about what your followers might find valuable before you start Tweeting. It’s likely that they won’t want to hear how your day is going or listen to you promote yourself repetitively, so do your best to avoid similar Tweets unless you feel that it is really something that your followers might find interesting or valuable.

Instead, as mentioned above, focus on things that you can give them that they will appreciate. I like to call it selfless giving. What would you find valuable? Links to worthwhile marketing info are great, as is any information that will help your followers to stay on top of their game.

This is the trick to Social Media Marketing, and why it works. You might feel as if you are the only one giving but, eventually, your network will give back. This could be through increased business, or even new connections. So, give freely if you really want to reap the rewards of Social Media Marketing love.

What’s Next?

Okay, so you have a few followers and some of them are listening, right? Well, it’s not a hidden secret that you need qualified followers. We have all heard the saying, “It’s not the quantity that matters; it’s the quality.” It’s true here too. If your followers aren’t quality, you won’t have those potential buyers that you really need and your efforts will be fruitless.

So how can you start identifying those individuals? One way is by creating a target audience profile. Consider what type of person might be interested in your local market. You would start by determining who could use your product or service. For instance, a health food store might create a target audience profile similar to this:

1. Families with children
2. Health conscious adults
3. Pregnant women
4. Doctors Offices
5. Restaurants
6. Hospitals
7. Hotels

Each of these profiles will have their own special needs and each would want information pertaining to those needs. Think about profile 5. A restaurant might be interested in acquiring healthier ingredients for use in their recipes, as becoming healthier is increasingly growing more popular. The health food store could tweet about interesting new recipes that are healthier and taste delicious, thus gaining the interest of the restaurateur in the process.

Now, think about it. This is really a simple way to gain the interest of your followers and it’s not a strategy that will take you days or weeks to achieve. This is something that you could literally complete in just a few hours, if that.

Finding Your Followers

If you want to attract more followers, you will have to find them and encourage them to start following your posts. Below are a few suggestions for building your following.

1. Try to include your or your business’s Twitter feed on everything that you can. Think email signatures, company letterheads, your business cards, website, and office doors, MySpace, Facebook, author bios, etc…literally everywhere possible.
2. Expand your research. There are a couple of tools, WeFollow and Twellow, which are absolutely amazing when it comes to building a following of local Twitter users. These tools will allow you to search a simple key phrase – local businesses would want to include their geographic area and modifiers for such. For example, St. Louis might include STL, Saint Louis, St. Louis Metro, and Gateway City. Of course, zip codes, area codes, state, and county are all going to be helpful modifiers as well, so don’t forget to include those.
3. Go hunting. Once you’ve found Twitterers that fit your defined profiles, introduce yourself. Don’t forget to send them a follow up message that invites them to begin following you.
4. Don’t forget to go back to your search and start looking searching other keywords that fit within your niche and your area so that you can gain as many followers as possible.

Valuable Twitter Tools to Help Make Your Strategy Effective

PeopleBrowsr is one of the tools that I like to use for conferences, live search, and marketers. It offers a wealth of information with multiple network dashboards, word clouds, hot topics, and buzzing brands. Ultimately, it’s a tool that will keep you in the know about how people feel about your brand, among others.

WeFollow is a great directory/search that will help you find potential Twitterers in your given area. This directory organizes Twitter users by their interests.

FriendorFollow can be a useful tool if you want to find out who your followers are. This tool might also help you determine whether or not you want to follow them back.

Twellow is expansive. It is a Twitter Search and a directory, as well as a Twitter version of the Yellow Pages. The service is free to use and will let you search Twitter for users in specific niches, locations, and professions, as well as a variety of other areas.

TweetDeck, in my opinion, is one of the easiest ways to use Twitter. It’s basically a free, downloadable program that operates on your computer or iPhone; however, it allows you to keep tabs on Twitter users that you are affiliated with. It also allows you to keep tabs on Facebook contacts, which you may find as an added bonus. Though it is still in Beta version, it is definitely a must have for simplification purposes.

So, there it is; your virtual Twitter toolbox!

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